Real Live Action

Band of Horses

with Cass McCombs, September 4 @ Commodore Ballroom

Review By Robert Robot

With a double header like this, expectations ran high at the Commodore on this Saturday night. The critically acclaimed Cass McCombs and his touring band of indie darlings were technically flawless, if a little underwelming. With a lack of any up-tempo moments, watching McCombs was kind of like taking in a Luna show, except that Luna’s Dean Wareham made sure to crank out a ripping guitar jam every so often, just to snap you out of your mid-tempo coma.

Band of Horses, photo by Val Cormier
Band of Horses, photo by Val Cormier

For me, Band of Horses have always sounded like Built To Spill’s country cousins. They write rock anthems like BTS, but with a little country flair. As they took the stage, it was clear that they’re a much beloved band. I remember hearing the song “The Great Salt Lake” on the crappy Fox show Standoff. It was emotive then, and even more so live—let’s just say I got a little verklempt. They played songs from their whole catalogue and new stuff that I imagine will find its way onto their soon-to-be-released third album. Now, I know BOH are a little bit country and a lot rock ‘n’ roll, but the country seems to be getting the better of them on their new material. Not being the biggest country fan, I wasn’t especially fond of this new style, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone else; in the end, these good ol’ boys treated us to some fine pluckin’, drummin’ and singin’, and made this city bumpkin mighty grateful indeed.